The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

4 Dead In Thai Protests; Prime Minister Faces Charges In Rice Deal

An anti-government protester is caught in tear gas during clashes with riot police in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday.
Wally Santana AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:35 pm

Four people were killed Tuesday in Thailand and at least 60 injured as police tried to clear anti-government protesters around Bangkok.

The dead included a policeman, the Bangkok Post reported, as well as three civilians. Here's more from the paper:

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Soldiers' 'Fun' Photo With Flag-Draped Coffin Sparks Outrage

The photo that has offended many. The soldier responsible for posting it on Instagram has been suspended and an investigation has begun.
Wisconsin National Guard Facebook page

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:05 pm

Two photos posted on Instagram by a member of the Wisconsin National Guard have caused an uproar on social media.

In one, 14 soldiers are seen joking around in front of what authorities say was an empty coffin draped with the American flag. The caption with that image reads, in part: "We put the FUN in funeral."

In the other, the soldier who put the pictures on the Web is seen in uniform. The caption with that photo reads: "It's so damn cold out....WHY have a funeral outside !? Somebody's getting a jacked up flag."

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Anti-Government Protests In Ukraine Turn Deadly

Smoke from exploding fireworks and fires billows into the night sky as Ukrainians gather at Independence Square during continuing protests in Kiev on Tuesday.
Igor Kovalenko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:01 pm

This post was updated at 8:52 p.m. ET

Riot police stormed the main anti-government camp in central Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, on Tuesday. They fought with demonstrators armed with clubs and wearing helmets fought back. More than a dozen people were killed, including five policemen, according to AP and the BBC.

Opposition leaders met late in the day with President Viktor Yanukovych, but left without an agreement.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Obama Wants Tougher Fuel Standards For Big Trucks

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:02 pm

President Obama said Tuesday that he has told the Environmental Protection Agency to work with the Department of Transportation on a second round of regulations to improve the fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The goal: reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they contribute to the environment.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:32 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Debate: Was Edward Snowden Justified?

Ben Wizner (left) and Daniel Ellsberg argue in favor of the motion "Edward Snowden Was Justified" in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on Feb. 12.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:26 pm

  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate

Many people fervently consider alleged NSA leaker Edward Snowden a whistleblower who did a great service by revealing information about the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs. His release of highly classified national security documents, they argue, has sparked an important public debate that could ultimately force a needed overhaul of the NSA's surveillance programs.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Chinese Firm Gets Approval To Buy Electric Carmaker Fisker

The Karma sedan, a premium electric plug-in hybrid by Fisker Automotive, is seen at the New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2012.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

This post was updated at 11:45 a.m.

A bankruptcy judge in Delaware has approved the sale of bankrupt electric carmaker Fisker to China's largest auto parts company.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reported on the story for our Newscast Unit.

"Wanxiang Group — China's largest auto parts company — won a bankruptcy auction last week for Fisker, which made plug-in, hybrid sports cars. Wanxiang's bid is valued at about $150 million. Fisker, which is based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection late last year.

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Parallels
10:51 am
Tue February 18, 2014

For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy

Norm Eisen, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, poses at his official residence in Prague in October 2013. Eisen's mother was born and raised in what was Czechoslovakia and was sent by the Nazis to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which she survived.
Filip Singer The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:18 am

The drive into Prague is like a journey into the past. As you approach, grand castles and cathedrals appear on the horizon and pull you into an old-world city that could be the setting for a fairy tale.

Three years ago, Norm Eisen made this journey in a motorcade. It was his first day as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. He was returning to the land where his mother, Frieda, had been born almost 90 years ago.

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Tue February 18, 2014

A Big Asteroid Just Flew By, And Guess What? More Are Coming

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:18 pm

An asteroid that's about the size of three football fields flew past Earth on Monday, coming within 2.1 million miles. That was near enough to generate headlines such as this, from Reuters: "Earth marks close encounter with enormous asteroid."

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue February 18, 2014

In Act Of Protest, Ai Weiwei Vase Is Destroyed At Miami Museum

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's "Colored Vases" is shown on display in December at the Perez Art Museum Miami. One of the vases in the exhibit was smashed Sunday.
Zachary Fagenson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:47 am

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — except perhaps when imitation takes the form of smashing a vase by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei valued at $1 million.

Miami artist Maximo Caminero claims he did it "for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," according to the Miami New Times.

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Shots - Health News
9:34 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Despite Law, Health Plans Refuse Medical Claims Related To Suicide

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:02 pm

Dealing with the aftermath of a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. But some health plans make a harrowing experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide, even though the federal health law doesn't allow such exclusions, legal and government analysts say.

Yet patients or their loved ones often don't realize that.

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